Building a tribe ~

Closing my doors at Blue Star Collections this weekend hosting a two day “Sale A Bration” event I drove away feeling so proud to have such a great “Tribe” supporting me with my business. It warmed my heart seeing your faces standing outside the doors of the church in the chilling temps waiting for the doors to open in anticipation of finding a few new Blue Star treasures.

Knowing my tribe supports me even at a last minute pop up sale is pretty powerful! No matters how busy our life’s might be, supporting each other is big and makes us all feel special.

Definition of tribe: A social group composed chiefly of a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest.

It was 2003 that I became inspired to start my own company, Blue Star Collections. Junk markets were making their way into our culture with recycling, repurposing and repainting home furnishings and more. Working full time at the Minneapolis Airport for several years, I felt the pull of being more creative and doing my own thing.

After holding several sales in different locations, it was time to have our own space. In 2011 we purchased a run down 107 year old church in the small community of Superior, Iowa. We immediately got to work restoring the disbanded Methodist church that was in need of a little tender loving care. Many of you watching our progress, honking your horns of approval as you drove by gave us such encouragement and several smiles.

Yes, it was a risk moving the Blue Star to the small community in Superior having a population of 250 but the highway presence was certainly in our vision. Several of my shoppers and bystanders wondered why I was taking my Blue Star to a remote location? At the time I didn’t really think much about it but my motto was always, build it and they will come. I stayed true to my heart and followed my dream.

Once we got the old church back in shape with new roof, lots of paint, moving the birds out of the bell tower, steadying up the foundation it was time to hang the Blue Star.

We got busy pulling stock out of our trailers and stocking the floor with unique pieces and making it a fun stop to shop. The rest is history, over the last 20 years we have had around numerous sales in this location and the tribe continued to grow!

Today, thinking back of the early days of Blue Star Collections, all I wanted to do was create some great pieces of furnishings, pay my bills having a few bucks leftover to buy a new pair of shoes every now and then and meet some new people.

That’s when my tribe was formed. I had girls approach me to help Blue Star Collections with whatever. Painting, help with shopping, moving junk and working the shows. Little did I know I would meet such awesome women!

Not only was I blessed with such a great group of workers, but my tribe remained loyal to Blue Star Collections as well. They drive from all areas near and far looking for some fun and maybe a treasure follows them home as well.

Themed shows have always been a part of my shows. WE always have good time with everyone getting involved with the fun! Our “Fifty Shades of Gray” ~ “Three Cheers for Mama” ~ “For the Love of Junk” and “Junk for Joy” added to the sale and enticed our tribe as well.

So as I drove away from Blue Star Collections yesterday after closing my doors from the two day sale, I was most grateful and proud to have such a fun, energetic, loving Tribe. We all would not be where we are today without each other. For that I thank you for being in my tribe and for your loyal support!

A very thoughtful friend of mine made a special trip over to Blue Star Collections during the sale to bring a beautiful bouquet of flowers celebrating my Blue Star Collections “Sale A Bration”. What a lucky gal I am to have such beautiful friends. I celebrate each of you everyday for being my “Tribe”!

Thrills on Blueberry Hill ~

As life is passing by, I find myself becoming more and more a creature of habit. Each morning hopping out of bed after tiding things up it’s time for coffee! French, Bold and Robust with a splash of cream. With coffee in hand I quickly catch up on the current events as well take in a bit of the local happenings.

It was a week ago I was well into my coffee when the local TV channel featured a blueberry farm inviting you to come out and “pick your own blueberries”. My ears perked up, we both love blueberries. I didn’t know the first thing about picking blueberries and I was curious.

I quickly got online and googled the Blueberry Bunch Farm featured on TV. It’s lovely website caught my attention and it continued to pull me in to want more. I was ready to go pick blueberries!

Reading the time and place I was next setting up a date with my husband to go pick blueberries. Noting the hours and location we decided to go the upcoming Friday. After gathering all the details of where and when I anxiously awaited for the gates to open for blueberry picking!

2754 Howard Rd, LaBelle, FL 33935

Blueberry Bunch Farm U-Pick season will be opened Friday March 4th 2022 and will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm. We were told they will be open until May 2nd but for further information, they encourage you to find them on Facebook for sthe latest updates!

It was now Friday and with our coffee in tow we headed out to LaBelle, Florida. We were amazed arriving shortly after 9:00 am the parking lot was filling up and traffic was coming and going. WOW ~ we weren’t the only blueberry pickers!

The signage was great and showed you the road to fun picking!

Checking in at the stand we shortly were set up with buckets and a harness if you so choose to keep both hands for picking. Of course we wanted harnesses! We wanted as many berries we could get in our buckets.

Mr. B quickly got in the berry picking mode and started filling up his bucket! Shhhh ~ please don’t tell but we tasted several berries while picking to make sure these were the real deals. Sure enough, they were the read deal and we just hoped we didn’t have berry stains all over the front of us with our taste testing. The blueberry plants were so full of big, beautiful berries and just dropped in your hands.

Mr. Blueberry stood tall and mighty with a welcome wave to greet everyone upon entering the blueberry fields. Laughter and giggles were heard up and down the rows with families picking berries together. Young and old ~ what a fun and healthy event for all.

The rows of berry bushes stood tall and luscious making it fun to pick a bucket full in no time at all! I had no idea berry picking could be so easy.

Blueberries are a healthy, stress-free food. You get fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and potassium in every handful of blueberries – at just 80 calories per cup. They’re also low in sodium and have virtually no fat. It just feels good to feel good about what you eat.

Not only adding a punch to your well being, they certainly can spruce up any fruit tray, bowl of cereal and offer that appeal to the eye.

Blueberry’s can be ate fresh, put in baked goods, used in sauces and makes wonderful jams and jellies.

After spending only 45 minutes in the blueberry patch we both had 3/4 of a bucket! It was time to check out our berries. Tallying up our total we had seven pounds between the two of us. I knew right away where our berries would go. Half would be used in making jam and the other half we would enjoy fresh.

Pulling up several recipes it all seemed pretty easy. Berries, sugar and pectin of some sort. I choose a recipe using a package of lemon Jello and a bit of fresh lemon juice with a dash of cinnamon. My recipe produced twelve small jelly jars for “give always” and three jars for ourselves. The taste test proved to be a success ~ please note the recipe below.

If pottery is your thing, there was also a gal that sold handmade pieces. The color were stunning, fun and certainly could give a special look to your dish-ware collection.

What a fun adventure! If your in Florida around the Fort Myers area, this Blueberry Farm is certainly worth looking up! It offers healthy benefits in more ways that one to take advantage of. Be sure to pull up updated details before heading out. Once you are there and in the midst of your picking, you will be happy you made the road trip.

In my closing I always love to hum to a little tune in my adventures and projects. This one came to mind thats brings back the saying its an oldie and a goodie! Happy blueberry picking ~ you will love it!

I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you

Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill